Riot defends shock Aurelion Sol nerfs after League of Legends community backlash
The League of Legends devs have moved to defend Aurelion Sol nerfs coming in LoL patch 11.15, after many players raised questions about why Riot are “ruining” a champion that boasts one of the game’s lowest pick rates.
Aurelion Sol was released way back in 2016, and has since failed to make a splash in League of Legends. This is, for the most part, down to the Star Forger’s unconventional abilities.
Despite the tricky magical kit — and an extremely low pick rate across the ranked queues — the LoL dragon has carved himself out a hefty win rate at Elite MMR. This has put Riot in a difficult position balance-wise, and the devs have finally made the call to implement some nerfs.
This has led to a lot of backlash from the LoL community, who don’t understand why Riot Games is nerfing a champion with such a low pick rate.
According to LoLalytics, the Star Forger has a 0.62% pick rate worldwide, making him one of the least popular champs in the game. However, as outlined by dev Jeevun ‘Jag’ Sidhu in a July 12 tweet, Aurelion’s overall popularity doesn’t tell the whole story.
“For context: Aurelion Sol’s Elite win rate in the last 2 patches has been 57.3% and 57.4%… both of those have been the highest win rates of any champion in Elite MMR,” the League of Legends champion designer revealed.
While these stats do show that Aurelion is a strong pick at the top level of play, a lot of players put this down to him having high MMR one-tricks who have completely mastered his kit.
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Well, according to Sidhu, that’s not really the case and there’s nothing to suggest his low play rate is a direct cause for his high-win rate.
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For context: Aurelion Sol’s Elite win rate in the last 2 patches has been 57.3% and 57.4%. Both of those have been the highest win rates of any champion in Elite MMR.
He doesn’t have the highest “1 trick” rate or comparable metric that would suggest his low play rate is a cause.
— Jeevun Sidhu (@JeevunSidhu) July 12, 2021
The LoL dev team doubled down on Aurelion Sol’s nerfs being the “right direction” in a Reddit post two days later.
“I think the nerf will be a step in the right direction for him. If we get it right, we’ll be able to take out power that the majority of Sol players don’t access or appreciate, which means down the road, if Aurelion proves to be weak we can give him power in more exciting places,” RiotKingCobra wrote on July 16.
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Cobra also admitted a rework “isn’t off the table,” but said it was unlikely: “Anything is possible, but it is pretty unlikely given the amount of work it’d take.”
Riot has since revealed Aurelion Sol’s planned changes; in LoL patch 11.15, the Star Forger will have his “E” ability’s flight distance reduced from 5,500-7,500 across five level-ups, to a flat 5,000 from rank one to rank five.
We’ll have to keep an eye on how these nerfs affect the Star Forger’s win rate in LoL solo queue, and see if Riot has any plans to rework his tricky abilities.